What YOU Can Do To Resist Youth Criminalization in Chicago…

Audy Home Campaign Action (photo by Sarah Jane Rhee)

Audy Home Campaign Action (photo by Sarah Jane Rhee)

1. Educate Yourself About Juvenile Justice
a. Find juvenile justice related data and reports.
b. Read juvenile justice related articles.

2. Do you know who your local elected representatives are (alderperson, House representative, State senator)? FIND OUT & set up a time to meet with them to ask what they are doing about youth criminalization.

3. How is your local school doing in terms of school discipline? Does your local elementary and high school rely on harsh disciplinary policies like suspensions and expulsions?
a. Find out about school discipline data by visiting CPS’s website (click the metrics tab to find that data).

4. Educate Yourself About the School-to-Prison Pipeline
a. You can find information at the Suspension Stories website.

5. Demand that Illinois Close More Youth Prisons
a. Learn about and JOIN the campaign to close youth prisons.

6. Keep up with criminal legal system legislation and policies in Illinois
a. Find calls to action at Decarcerate IL.
b. Join Decarcerate IL’s Facebook Page.
c. Keep track of juvenile legal system legislation through the Juvenile Justice Initiative

7. Do NOT call the police on young people.
a. Listen to young people’s stories about their encounters with police.
b. Consider alternatives to calling the police.
c. If a young person is arrested, call First Defense Legal Aid immediately for a lawyer: 1-800-LAW-REP-4 (24 hours a day)
d. Educate yourself about Chicago’s (Hidden) Stop & Frisk.
e. Educate yourself about the history of police violence
f. Host a KNOW YOUR RIGHTS workshop.
e. Organize your own workshop using this new curriculum.

8. Volunteer with AND Donate Funds to organizations that support and advocate for young people in conflict with the law (Lawndale Christian Legal Center, Urban Life Skills Program, Project NIA, Circles and Ciphers, Girl Talk, Fearless Leading By The Youth, Black & Pink Chicago,Free Write Jail Arts Program, and many more…)

9. Advocate that the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center be CLOSED (Toni Preckwinkle has already said that this is her goal).
a. Join FLY’s Audy Home Campaign.
b. Read a concept paper by the Cook County Juvenile Justice Taskforce about closing JTDC.

10. Advocate for Restorative and Transformative Justice
a. Get trained in peace circle keeping.
b. Join the Community Renewal Society’s Reclaim Justice Campaign.
c. Learn about transformative justice.
d. Learn about restorative justice in Illinois.

11. Advocate for alternatives to detention and incarceration
a. Read Project NIA’s report
b. Insist that resources used for incarceration be diverted to support investments in jobs, education, afterschool programs, and more.

12. Learn about the Prison Industrial Complex and Educate Others.
a. Visit The PIC IS for resources
b. Find juvenile justice zines.
c. Invite the Chicago PIC Teaching Collective to run workshops at your workplace, school, church, community organization.

13. Join Moms United Against Violence and Incarceration.

14. Refuse to vote for politicians who demagogue community safety and STOP SUPPORTING THE BUILDING OF NEW JAILS AND PRISONS.

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